“The winning retailers of the future are going to combine great physical assets with the ease that comes along with that digital interaction,” Cornell told CNBC. “For the foreseeable future, the majority of U.S. retail sales will still take place at stores.”
After all, Target has invested in its physical locations by renovating larger stores and opening smaller ones in cities or near colleges. The result? Same-store sales at the retailer increased more than 3 percent in November and December. In all, the goal is to make “Target the easiest place in America to shop,” regardless of whether customers choose to shop in-store or online, Cornell told CNBC.
In addition to investments in its stores, the retailer has been rolling out delivery services in Florida and Minnesota after acquiring Shipt in 2017. The purchase “significantly accelerates” its digital fulfillment efforts, the company said at the tine, and could bring same-day delivery to approximately half of its stores by the early part of this year.
To help customers navigate its stores, Target recently updated the indoor mapping function available through its mobile app. Target calls it the “GPS for your shopping cart,” reports TechCrunch. The feature went live in around 800 of the company’s 1,800 U.S. stores in 2017. Target reportedly plans to roll out functionality to half of its stores by the 2018 holiday season.
The purpose of the indoor mapping function is to help shoppers find products they’re looking for in a brick-and-mortar location. Rather than a static map or a directory listing aisle numbers where products can be found, the technology is precise enough to pinpoint a shopper’s location within the store on a dynamic map. Similar to the regular map function on smartphones — in, say, Google Maps or Apple Maps — the shopper’s exact location is indicated by a pulsing dot.